Preparing the perfect pregnancy for your bitch

When you have decided it is the perfect time to consider dog breeding for your bitch it is important that you take her for a preliminary examination at the veterinary surgery to check for any diseases or abnormalities that may endanger pregnancy, or result in dog breeding being inadvisable.

Always record the dates your bitch mated with the stud dog; most bitches whelp within 60 – 65 days afterwards.

During the first half of pregnancy, food levels should be at normal levels. After five weeks they should increase 20-30% in kilojoules and 2-4% in protein. It’s advisable to add liver at one gram per kilogram of your bitch’s weight.

whelping puppiesDuring latter pregnancy, nutritional needs of the foetus will be provided by your bitch so extra nutrition should be included in her diet or fatal demands on her nutritional stores will deplete her before she even begins to lactate.

Generally it is important to maintain high-protein levels in a balanced diet during pregnancy and increase the proportion in accordance to your bitch’s weight gain.

Pregnant bitches must have exercise. The importance of this is great; plenty of walking is needed to keep her muscles toned.

A week before her puppies are due, encourage her to sleep where she will whelp. Absolute essentials of a whelping area are: a large enough area for her to lie fully extended, which is dimly lit and peaceful. The area should be dry and warm and the whelping box should have inside rails around 5cm above the surrounding floor.